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A qualitative study to understand patients' experiences of foot pain and surgical consultation for hallux valgus and/or hallux rigidus

Lookup NU author(s): Lorelle Dismore, Dr Kate SwainstonORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND).


The foot is one of the most complex musculoskeletal systems in the body, playing a pivotal role in gait and posture. Epidemiological studies indicate that a high prevalence of foot problems is associated with a greater burden of pain, disability and decreased health-related quality of life. Disabling foot pain is likely to be multifactorial in origin, however to date there is limited evidence of the psychosocial impact of forefoot problems, as such the associated burden is unknown. The study was qualitative with the use of semi-structured interviews to explore patients' experiences of their foot problem and of undergoing surgical consultation and/or intervention for hallux valgus and/or hallux rigidus. Sixteen patients participated: 14 females and 2 males; mean age of 61 years, SD 7.23 from a National Health Service secondary care hospital within an orthopaedic department, who required surgery for hallux valgus and/or hallux rigidus. Thematic analysis generated three themes; 'the impact of pain', 'the decision-making process' and 'body image, the self and identity'. Forefoot problems present many issues for patients and impact on their physical, social and psychological health. Forefoot problems are multifactorial and patients should be supported using a biopsychosocial approach.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Dismore L, van Wersch A, Critchley R, Murty A, Swainston K

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Pain and Rehabilitation

Year: 2021

Volume: 51

Pages: 15-28

Print publication date: 01/06/2021

Acceptance date: 02/04/2018

Date deposited: 05/01/2022

ISSN (print): 2051-0047

ISSN (electronic): 2051-0055

Publisher: Physiotherapy Pain Association



Funder referenceFunder name
British Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society